Get­ting naked truth at Girls panel

Psy­chol­ogy works for:

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Yvonne Vil­lar­real

PASADENA, Calif. — HBO an­nounced it has or­dered a fourth sea­son of its po­lar­iz­ing Lena Dunham com­edy Girls, set to roll in spring 2015. Then sec­onds af­ter the an­nounce­ment, things got all Shosh. Dur­ing the show’s panel at the Television Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion press tour Thurs­day night in Pasadena, what un­folded was a whiplash-in­duc­ing goulash of talk­ing points.

TV-MA. Things kicked off to a ruf­fled start when a re­porter in­quired about Dunham’s not-in-short-sup­ply nudity on the show — “I don’t get the pur­pose of all of the nudity on the show, by (Dunham) par­tic­u­larly,” he started. “And I feel like I’m walk­ing into a trap where you go, ‘No­body com­plains about the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are do­ing it. They are do­ing it to be sala­cious and, you know, tit­il­late peo­ple. And your char­ac­ter is of­ten naked just at ran­dom times for no rea­son.” Dunham re­sponded: “It’s be­cause it’s a re­al­is­tic ex­pres­sion of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I to­tally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your prob­lem ...” Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Judd Apa­tow chimed in, ask­ing the male re­porter: “Do you have a girl­friend? Does she like you? ... Let’s see how she likes you when you quote that with your ques­tion, and just write the whole ques­tion as you stated it.”

Sym­pa­thy. Dunham’s con­fused by the TV’s set of “sym­pa­thiz­ing laws” when it re­lates to Han­nah, Marnie, Shoshanna and Jessa — “It’s funny peo­ple say a lot, like, ‘How do we sym­pa­thize with them?’ And I’m, like, ‘You seem to like Wal­ter White.’”

Hey, what hap­pened? Fol­low­ing a wave of crit­i­cism over its lack of di­ver­sity, Sea­son 2 kicked off with two episodes fea­tur­ing Don­ald Glover as a love in­ter­est for Dunham — which some felt was the wun­derkind’s way of stick­ing the fin­ger to the show’s de­trac­tors. Its monochro­matic look continues to be a hot topic. Dunham of­fered this take on the mat­ter: “I think that, for us, the idea that we were try­ing to say ‘eff you’ to our crit­ics would im­ply that we didn’t be­lieve or un­der­stand, and the fact is, like I al­ways tell peo­ple, yes, it’s un­com­fort­able when sort of neg­a­tive at­ten­tion is named at you, but I also felt like that’s such an im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tion that if we are go­ing to be the in­sti­ga­tor of that, I’m not go­ing to be frus­trated about it, be­cause that’s a con­ver­sa­tion that needs to hap­pen in the world. We need to talk about di­ver­si­fy­ing the world of television, and we are try­ing to con­tinue to do it in ways that are gen­uine, nat­u­ral, in­tel­li­gent. ... We never want to start a story line that we are go­ing to kind of let flit­ter off. So, now, we are find­ing ways to in­tro­duce peo­ple who are more last­ing be­cause we are ready to kind of open up the worlds of these girls.”

Jemima Kirke speaks. The first episode of the third sea­son finds Kirke’s char­ac­ter Jessa in re­hab. And her stint there re­sults in a strik­ing ex­change with a fel­low pa­tient (which we won’t spoil). “I think she’s very just sex­u­ally dam­aged, yeah,” Kirke said. Dunham added: “It’s like her sex­u­al­ity’s just like kind of a rush­ing river and it needs ves­sels to con­tain it.”

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